South Lanarkshire is the only council in Scotland that is in complete denial over equal pay - see posts dates 1 August and 2 April 2007. SLC says it does not have an equal pay problem and that the council introduced a new and non-discriminatory pay structure back in 2004.
The fact is that SLC has a bigger problem than any other council in Scotland - because council leaders have their heads stuck in the sand - hoping that if they don't acknowledge the mess they're in, it will somehow go away.
SLC has an Employment Tribunal hearing coming up in January 2008 - and Action 4 Equality intends to make the council's behaviour a big local issue over the next few months - with the help of our 1500 clients.
We plan to hold a series of local meetings to explain just how dishonest the council's position is and what people can do to help achieve a just outcome over equal pay.
Here are some pointed questions to ask of local councillors and the council leadership (an unlikely coalition of Labour and Tory members):
- Why is the council afraid to publish the pay rates (or salary levels) of traditional male jobs such as refuse drivers?
- Why did the council (in 2004) simply absorb the big bonus payments of traditional male jobs into new and higher salaries - but without any corresponding increase for the women's jobs?
- Why did the council not use the national Job Evaluation scheme recommended and approved by CoSLA - at a cost of £250,000 to the public purse?
- Why did Councillor Pat Watters (current CoSLA President and President in 2004) ignore his own advice and the advice of his own officials - and opt instead for a 'cheap and cheerful' SLC Job Evaluation scheme?
- Why does the council leadership still pretend that there is not a big pay gap between traditional male and female jobs in SLC - for example between a home carer and refuse driver?
South Lanarkshire employees are being treated as second class citizens - they deserve better and they are entitled to equal pay under the law.
So, time to get going - and let the council know it's got a fight on its hands - one they are going to lose, unless wiser heads prevail.
If you would like to arrange a meeting in your own local area, contact Mark Irvine on 0131 667 7956 or by email at: email@example.com
If you know of any SLC employees who have not yet registered an equal pay claim, tell them they can still do so. They'd be mad not to - because they've nothing to lose and plenty to gain!